Saturday, September 13, 2008




Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

I started out as a bio major my first year in college (my father’s a doctor and he wanted me to follow in his footsteps), even though deep down inside I always had a passion for life drawing & comics. I wanted an apprenticeship with Burne Hogarth while at Cal State LA, however, a professor at CSUF, who was also a friend of Burn Hogath’s, told me that CSUF was going to begin an animation department. Even though I was a little hesitant because I was unsure if I could make a living in animation, I took a risk, changed colleges, and changed my life… for the better! I’ve always drawn my whole life, it’s second nature to me. I can remember creating extensive origins on characters I would draw in junior high, and loving every stroke! Those drawings and bios eventually became comics that I would sell to the other kids in school. So, in a sense I always knew I wanted to be a storyboard artist, even if I didn’t know the correct terminology.

How do you go about drawing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I like to challenge myself, and my creativity, by drawing a simple design and working with it. Once I have something on paper and/or the computer that’s fleshed out, I leave it alone. I never like needling the lines. If I notice that the drawing’s not up to par, I walk away and leave it alone. My workspace is very important to me, I need to have a movie on in the background to feed my stimulation, and I love an open space, which is why I love to go digitally. If I’m working in a more traditional form, I make sure to keep as clean of a space as possible.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

I’m an early bird, so I like to start the day by arriving to work by 7am. To begin with, I like to warm up by practicing my line work and strokes, I’ll then move to whichever board I’m working on, and think of what works sequence-wise with the boards. Most of the day consists of me sitting at my desk and problem solving. Usually, I’ll bring in a homemade lunch to have more time for work. But too much sitting down is not good for the mind! My daily midday ritual consists of me taking a quick walk around the block, or to Best Buy, to take some time for my mind to breathe. The people that I work with are all amazing, talented, people who love the bounce ideas off of one another. The environment is very lax and pleasant. It’s also great because there’s always commentary about new movies that came out, and what that story needed or didn’t need. As an artist, you continue to grow by being surrounded by such talent.

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

Previous animation shows I’ve worked on: Captain Simian & Space Monkeys, Catdog, Sponge Bob, Mighty Mouse(development), Jackie Chan, Johnny Bravo, Megas XLR, Evil con Carne, Drawn Together, Spawn(Development), Happy Elf, Catscratch, American Dragon(2nd Season), Emperor's New School, Spectacular Spiderman and Mighty B!. I’ve also started my self-published line of sketchbooks, and now comics. Cano Scribbles, Cano Scribbles 1.5, and The Adventures of Plat & Dave.

What are you working on now?

I’m working as a storyboard artist on “Fanboy” (Nickelodeon) and on my spare time I’m developing the 2nd issue of “The Adventures of Plat & Dave.”

Who do you think are some of the top artists out there?

Hands down Hayao Miyazaki, John Byrne, John Romita, Stefan Lindblad, Marc Silverstri, Paul Felix, Pierre Alary, Thierry Martin, Katsuhiro Otomo, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, Koji Morimoto, Kazuhiko Kato, Bill Watterson, Enrique Fernandez, Jamie Hewlett and Chris Sanders, just to name a few….

Could you talk about your process in coloring your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

I use a base color to work with and then import it into photshop and then work from there, layer after layer. Once I have the colors that I like, I’ll change up the saturation and create different varieties of that drawing with different colors. I’ll then select the version that works best with that particular drawing. My artist’s tool-belt consists of Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, and Painter X, with the customize brushes I use with my digital pen.

What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?

Fun and Easy is doing rough, raw energy, drawings and figuring out what this character’s story is about. The hard part is when you just have one of those days, when your mind’s an empty canvas…

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

Look at some of my favorite art books; watch my favorite animated and live action movies.

What are some of your favorite pieces of artwork that you have seen?

All of Nicoli Fechin, Edgar Degas, and Gustav Klimt’s work is amazing! Of course 200 drawings of Heinrich Kley is a must have. I’m also a big fan Norman Rockwell. There are more, but it would be a very much longer interview…

What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

I love drawing faces, there are so many expressions that I have yet to tap into.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

The money and the girls. Haha! I have always had a love for comics and film. Animation seem to be the perfect fusion for both…

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

I’ve learned to look outside of the conventional structure of drawing to work with interesting shapes, and how to go about breaking conventional methods into how a character can be designed, and also different views on telling a story.

What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

Cartoon Brew, Tirade, SketchCrawl, Rose and Isabel, The Pixar blog, 3d Total, Yacin the Faun, Random Anomalies, Andy Updates, Thierry Martin’s blog,

What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Practice, practice and more practice. There is no magic secret drawing formula, you just have to get yourself into a place where you familiarize yourself with what works for you. Draw as much as you can and find inspiration wherever, whenever.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbooks, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

All three of my sketchbooks, and my first comic book are on sale at:

House of Secrets
1930 West Olive Avenue
Burbank, California 91506

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, California 9oo64

The Labyrinth
386 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Octavio Rodriguez Gallery